Significant People in Sophia Loren's Life and Career

A - B

"She should have been sculpted in chocolate truffles, so that the world could have devoured her." - Noel Coward.

Alexandre de Paris

Giorgio Armani

Richard Avedon

Jean Barthet

Émile Baulieu

Lello Bersani

Alessandro Blasetti

  Ljuba Bodin

Marc Bohan

Marlon Brando

Ines Bruscia

Richard Burton

ALEXANDRE DE PARIS (Louis Alexandre Raimon) (Saint-Tropez, 1922 - Paris, 2008)
One of the best-known and most influential hairstylist of the twentieth century who created haute coiffure, elevating hairdressing among the elite of the fashion world. He opened his first salon in Paris in 1952. Alexandre became better known in America when he created special hairstyles for Jacqueline Kennedy during the highly publicized visit she and President John F. Kennedy made to France in 1961. He created Elizabeth Taylor's legendary haircut in Cleopatra and coiffed most American and European celebrities. He is responsible for one of the symbols of post-war French style, the 'chignon' French pleat, or bouffon. He was often referred to as The Prince of Coiffure or Alexander the Great. Sophia is said to have had more than 500 appointments with him.

ALTMAN, Robert (Kansas City, MO, 1925 - Los Angeles, 2006)
Acclaimed American director who made the film Prêt-à-Porter, the film that brought Sophia back to the silver screen in all her glamour. Sophia had so much respect for the director that she accepted the role without reading the script. He is interviewed in the documentary Cercando Sofia.

ANNUNZIATA, Giuseppe ( - )
Italian makeup artist who has worked with Sophia on numerous movies, including A Breath of Scandal, La Ciociara, Madame Sans-Gêne, Matrimonio all'italiana, Lady L, C'era una volta, I girasoli, La moglie del prete, Man of La Mancha, La mortadella, Il viaggio and La pupa del gangster. He is interviewed in the documentary Cercando Sofia.

APONTE, Gianluigi (Sorrento, 1940 - )
Chairman and owner of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), he and his wife Rafaela are great friends of Sophia. In order to improve US awareness he asked Sophia to become the cruise line's new spokeswoman in 2003. Sophia has served as godmother for alla MSC cruise ships since 2003. Sophia has accepted to be godmother "because he and I are great friends. We come form the same area and it is so beautiful what we do." Aponte is also president of Fondazione Sorrento which made Sophia honorary citizen of the city in 2009. He lives in Geneva with his wife Raffaellla Denat, who is the daughter of a rich Swiss bank executive.

ARMANI, Giorgio (Piacenza, 1934 - )
World's second largest selling designer and beloved friend of Sophia who adopted him as her main designer after she quit Valentino in 1993. Armani's collections were first introduced in America in August 1978 but his reputation grew as a result of the success of the film "American Gigolo" in which Richard Gere is featured as the dashing owner of a closetful of tailored Armani¹. He contributed to the the Scicolone, Lazzaro, Loren exhibit in 2006. Most outfits worn by Sophia in the past 20 years are signed by Armani. "When you dress in Armani, you can be sure you'll never look like a Christmas tree." Sophia Loren in Women's Wear Daily, 2000.

AVEDON, Richard (New York City, NY, 1923 - San Antonio, TX, 2003)
American photographer who worked for the most prestigious fashion magazines in the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's, including Harper's Bazaar (1945-1965) and Vogue (1966-1990). Sophia worked with him many times, starting in 1958, and he stands as one of her favorite photographers. Avedon has always considered Sophia as one of the most beautiful women in the world.

BALMAIN, Pierre (Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, 1914 - Paris, 1982)
French fashion designer who created Sophia's costumes in The Millionairess at the time he was known to be the chicest and the priciest of all French couturiers. He is known for his night gowns and he also designed costumes for many other celebrities including Brigitte Bardot, Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich. Erik Norgensen of Denmark succeeds him as head of the Balmain house.

BAPST, Ruth (Switzerland)
Sophia's multilingual governess, nanny and housekeeper hired after Carlo, Jr.'s birth. She looked after Sophia's sons at the Villa, during several trips, as well as at the California ranch where she eventually became the housekeeper. Sophia has always called her Ninni. She has been over the years one of Sophia's most faithful helping friends.

BARTHET, Jean (Nay, 1920 - Paris, 2000)
French hat designer considered the genius of hatmaking in the 1960's, he was referred to as "prince des modistes". Sophia was one of her main clients and he became a close friend and a confident over the years. She visited her shop on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré for years and attended many of his collection shows. They were often seen together, at the time Sophia lived in Paris, attending cultural events such as operas, ballets, plays and concerts.

BAULIEU, Étienne-Émile (Strasbourg, 1926 - )
French phycisian and endocrinologist who invented the abortion pill called RU-486. There were strong rumors in France in the early 1980's that Sophia and the renowned doctor were having an affair. When the story broke her wife would have said, "What could he do? He fell in love. After all, Sophia Loren is a superb woman."

BERSANI, Lello (Rome, 1902 - Rome, 2002)
Italian radio and televison journalist; he was specialized in interviews, especially with actresses he followed at film festivals - Venice, Taormina and Cannes. He was at Sophia's home in Rome the night she won her Oscar for best actress in La Ciociara.

BLASETTI, Alessandro (Rome, 1900 - Rome, 1987)
Italian director; after featuring Sophia in Tempi nostri, he brought out the Loren-Mastroianni tandem in two memorable films in the style of commedia all'italiana: Peccato che sia una canaglia and La fortuna di essere donna. "I owe a lot to Alessandro Blasetti for everything he showed me at the beginning of my career." (Loren)

BODIN, Ljuba (Yugoslavia, 1934 - ) aka Luba, Lubica, Ljubica Bodin and Bodine 
Born Lubica Otasovik, member of Yugoslavia's Women's Red Stars Basketball team, she was discovered by Carl Foreman at a cocktail party in London and was immediately hired to be Sophia's stand-in for various scenes of The Key. She looked a lot like Sophia and it may be no wonder Cary Grant, who was fondly in love with Sophia, started dating the young Yugoslavian actress in 1959. It is said she also had a flirt with Gina Lollobrigida's husband, Milko Scofic. In a 1958 interview published by the Daily Mirror, Ljuba had these words about her first encounter with Sophia: "She was a little cold at first. First thing she ask me about is my measurements. Then she is smiling because she know everything is equal between us."

BOHAN, Marc (Paris, 1926 - )
Head designer - succeeding Yves Saint-Laurent - for the House of Christian Dior from 1960 until 1989. At Loren's behest, he designed her wardrobe for her television specials and Cannes appearances of the 1960's, as well as for several films including Arabesque, A Countess from Hong Kong, Verdict and The Cassandra Crossing. "His perfectionist zeal and attention to detail, a good fashion sense, were always at the foundations of his reputation." (Rebecca Arnold).

BRANDO, Marlon (Ohama, NE, 1924 - Los Angeles, CA, 2004)
American legendary actor who played opposite Sophia in A Countess from Hong Kong.  Brando and Sophia first met in November 1954, in Rome, and they could have shared the big screen in The Pride and the Passion had he not declined the role. On Sophia he was once quoted as saying, "It's the damnedest thing. When you see it, you don't believe it. Then you look again and you still don't believe it." Although Sophia praised his professionalism and said she enjoyed filming with him after his death, working with Brando on the set was not easy. "Actors such as him should be immortal. He was a wonderful work companion, a person of great education, a true professional." Hard to believe but these words are from Sophia.

BRUSCIA, Ines (Italy, 1929 - )
Ex Ponti's script girl in the early 1950's, she has been Sophia's secretary since 1958 at the time That Kind of Woman was being filmed in New York. "A slightly built young woman with jet-black hair. A sharp-featured but attractive face. Ines orchestrates Sophia's working life with the amiable firmness of a fight manager. She is chaperone, go-fer, sparring parter, soft shoulder, baby watcher, appointments gauleiter, and she knows all the working parts of the Loren machinery." (Zec).

BURTON, Richard (Pontrhydyfen, 1925 - Geneva, 1984)
Welsh actor frequently remembered for his turbulent life and multiple marriages with Elizabeth Taylor and others. He played opposite Sophia in Il viaggio and Brief Encounter. He stayed at the Villa in July 1973 after his separation with Elizabeth Taylor - who later joined him - going through a desintoxication cure in preparation for the filming of Il viaggio. There were rumors about Burton and Sophia having a love affair while they were filming the two films they made together. "Beautiful brown eyes set in a marvelously vulpine, amost satanic face. Slightly receding chin, a fabulous nose and a mouth wide and generous lika an invitaion to rape." (Burton)


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Updated 05/22/2016
¹. Brittanica Online Encyclopedia